You have recently released your film Das Geheimnis der
Zauberpilze/The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms. Can you tell us
in a few words what the film is about?
friendship beyond the grave but not necrophilia. In an
accident the Tall Guy kills his best friend the Small
trying to get rid of the body a dwarf appears and tells him about some
vitalizing magic mushrooms that could reanimate his friend. A weird
quest for the mushrooms takes the Tall Guy to the strangest
the Silschede Woods. He meets a non-aging hippie, a paranoid soldier, a
cannibalistic anchorite, some strange beast and - of course - a giant
mushroom with a tremendous hunger for love.
How did you come
up with the idea for the film?
For a long time Master W was
day dreaming about his friend Crippler
Criss carefully preparing a slice of bread with chocolate sprinkles and
putting it in his mouth ... all in one piece. This idea combined with the
inspiring memory of the P.S.Y.C.H.O.
Productions short film archive
filled within the last ten years made it easy to write a screenplay for
a feature film reaching out for international distriubution, argh...
With the film featuring zombies, cannibalistic hermits and the like
- how far do you go concerning gore?
We have some gore scenes in the movie but they are not predominant. Our
old short movies mainly consisted of one major gore scene with a little
bit of plot constructed around that scene. So this time we did something
completely different. Instead of using gore as the main attraction we
focused on the psychological structures of the characters mostly taken
from our old short movies by letting them interact with each other on
two levels: sick dialogs and senseless killing.
You two play all
roles in the film, right? Why is that, and wasn't that a bit of a strain?
it was. Since we had no real crew and we were the directors,
producers and actors we had to carry all our heavy and heavily expensive
(argh...) equipment from our homes to the deepest spots within the
Silschede Woods (approx. 500 meters away). But one scene became a major
challenge to us being different departments in personal union: The heavy
drinking in the first quarter of the movie which leads to the accidental
killing of the Small Guy. Real booze was involved and Master W
little alcohol problem since you can get him pissed as a newt by giving
him three beers. So Master W couldn't read the screenplay any more and
threw it away which resulted in a 15-minute improvisational one-shot.
How did you come up with all the characters featured in the film?
We just recycled characters from our old short movies with a few
expections and partly placed them in new surroundings. For example the
paranoid soldier debuted approx. ten years ago in a short movie called Behind Enemy Lines. That time he was looking for Charlie but
he's out for Osama, argh...
in the film you have grown especially fond of, and those you think you
could have done without in hindsight?
To be quite frank,
without a doubt and without one single exception,
they are all awesome. Taking out one character would result in the whole
movie being one giant piece of shit. It is the organic totality of the
interaction of all the characters which makes The Secret of the
Mushrooms an enterntaining and thought provoking piece of trash!
If you would shoot
the film again today, what would you do differently (if anything)?
would use a bellows to clean the ground glass of our 35mm-adapter. To
reveal a secret the dirt and dust you see within the picture was not an
intended effect to give the movie a grindhouse look.
Besides that we
would get ourselves a decent mic to record the audio tracks directly. We
had to record all the dialog twice because the first mic we had was a
piece of crap.
that have influenced you while making The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms?
Schlächter vs. Kinder des Zorns, The Naked Gun, Behind
Enemy Lines, The Evil Dead,
Animalisch and Rambo there was no
influence of any kind, argh...
As I see it, The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms is a horror
film, though definitely on the weird and even comic side. Is horror a
genre dear to you?
While Master W's most favorite film genre is horror with many of its
subgenres like splatter, vomit gore, rape gore and Al Gore, Crippler
Criss is mostly disgusted by the violence portrayed especially in
Japanese horror movies and the crappiness of German horror movies except
- of course - the masterpiece called The Secret of the Magic
Between the two of you, you have
pretty much done everything on the movie, producing, writing, directing,
editing, special effects and of course acting. Which aspects of filmmaking
do you enjoy most, and which could you do without?
Master W the best part in movie making is developing an
original story and bringing it to life by acting it out and directing
it. Technical aspects like operating the camera and sound editing can
become quite frustrating and boring for him so he would like to avoid
that the next time.
Crippler Criss basically likes every aspect of the movie making process,
but since making a movie is not our full time job he needs to cut it
down to some crucial things that every idiot could do: editing,
directing, acting, producing, promoting, and surviving the annoying
presence of his hyperactive production company co-owner called Master W.
words about the music in your film, one of the few things you didn't do
Although Crippler Criss and Master W have some
exprience in making
music, they left this time-consuming part to more professional
musicians. Composing the music for one scene took up to 36 hours pure
working time and we had the massive amount of over 20 scenes in the
movie. But obviously we made the right decision because the music
composed by Holger Jahnke and Carsten Grote turned out really great.
The 64-Dollar-question is of course: Where's the film available?
Right now the film is mainly available at some online shops. A list of
that shops is available on the movie website www.dasgeheimnisderzauberpilze.de.
can you tell us about the reception of the film so far?
reception at screenings, film club and festival appearances was
pretty good and the vast part of the reviews was positive.
far as I know, The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms is your first
feature film. What can you tell us about your life prior to the movie, and
did you have any previous filmmaking experience?
have a real life prior to this movie, argh... No, seriously,
we've been making little movies since we were 16. We experimented with
special effects, visual effects, story telling, the forming of
characters, editing and all the other aspects of moviemaking and as
time went by we mastered our skills and our movies developed their own
special look and feel. But after five years we stopped making movies for
personal reasons. Six years of boredom followed but then - totally
refreshed by recycling old ideas - we came back to produce The
of the Magic Mushrooms! Hell yeah!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
future projects you'd like to talk about?
As a matter of fact we are already working on part two of our Mushroom-Saga entitled
The Curse of the Magic Mushrooms. But this
it is going to be totally different. More drama, more suspense, more
gore, more actors, a bigger crew, and - check this out - a camera
crane! Argh... The movie tells us the story about a gang of drug dealers
who try to make the biggest deal in their history, an old school police
commissioner trying to bring those gangsters to justice, and two friends
getting caught between the frontlines... What they all don't know: The
Curse Of The Magic Mushrooms is... ARGH!
MySpace, whatever else?
Indeed, we show decent presence on
the internet. In fact, we have a huge
empire of spam! Feel free to talk with us in our forum, leave a comment
on our MySpace page or in our guest book or - last but not least -
follow us on twitter. Here is a delightful selection of our ass-kicking
Directors who have inspired you?
W is mostly inspired by innovative directors like David Lynch,
Darren Aronofsky, and the Coen Brothers. But also classic horror movie
directors like Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson and George A. Romero. Three of
Crippler Criss' main influences are Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone
and Sergio Leone.
Crippler Criss likes Dirty
Harry, Rambo, American Gangster, The
Naked Gun, which is also one of Master W's favorites. Furthermore,
Master W loves Requiem For A Dream, Man Bites Dog, The Man Who
Wasn't There, Inland Empire and Psycho. As
an insider tip regarding
German independent movies The Knochenwald Trilogy should be
And of course, some movies you really
Some extremely annoying movies both of the
filmmakers remember are
certainly Voodoo Blood, Hell Of The Living Dead, Razorback. Master
W also hates Titanic, Pearl Harbor and all Dolph
Lundgren movies the
Crippler forced him to watch. Crippler Criss dislikes most of the
professional German movies except the old German co-productions starring
Bud Spencer and Terence Hill.
Anything else you are dying to tell us and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Proudly we present the fact that The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms is
now being distributed internationally by Troma
Entertainment, USA! Big
thanks to Matt and Lloyd at Troma for putting their trust in us and our
Thanks for the interview!